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Top educator visits island

Whidbey Island schools had a visitor from the the state’s top educator who came to the area Thursday to check up on the student projejcts.

Terry Bergeson, State Superintendent for Public Instruction, visited all three island school districts, taking advantage of an opportunity to see students’ applied-learning projects.

In Oak Harbor, Bergeson made stops at North Whidbey Middle School and Oak Harbor Elementary School.

At Oak Harbor Elementary School, school officials made a presentation of the Deception Pass Applied Learning Project, a schoolwide endeavor that allows all grades to participate in a variety of projects that integrate the state park with academic requirements.

“If you can take an idea that students love, then teaching students becomes more meaningful,” Bergeson said. She also visited the class that produced the DVD outlining the project.

Earlier in the day she visited the Coupeville School District where a nine student panel highlighted accomplishments of the school district, ranging from obtaining the Gates Grant to the junior internship project, said high school Principal Phyllis Textor during the Monday evening Coupeville School board meeting.

Once Bergeson finished her visits with the schools, she enjoyed a dinner prepared by the Oak Harbor High School Culinary Arts students.

Along with Bergeson, the school boards and superintendents from South Whidbey, Coupeville and Oak Harbor school districts attended the dinner, featuring recipes the students had prepared at a statewide competition.

Rick Schulte, superintendent of the Oak Harbor School District, said he had been working since last November to schedule a time where everyone could attend a meeting with Bergeson, who is the elected official in charge of education in this state.

Bill Myhr, superintendent of the Coupeville School District, said the meeting gave local board members an opportunity to learn about legislative issues that affect all districts.

Among those issues are graduation requirements, WASL testing and state funding of local school districts.

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